Lately, I feel as if I’m caught up in a never-ending game of pin the tail on the donkey…
The nearly non-existent trickle of income is my blindfold. Short on funds, the hunt for a decent wage is a constant distraction from my true goals. I can’t seem to see past the “no cash” dilemma. So I focus on trying to make ends meet, instead of focusing on what my heart calls me to do. And that’s the irony. The more I allow myself to stray away from my true heart’s desires… the less success I find. The more I give away my time, energy and talents to outside aims, the more I find them used, abused and under-valued. I’m so eager to help. But in my eagerness, I’m learning, that “take advantage” seems to be the law of the land. I must be more wary of where I decide to invest. Lately, it feels as if my “investments” have only been sucking me dry.
It is the mysterious adventure of life that is constantly spinning me, whirling me, sending me in somersaults. I LOVE it. I LOVE the commotion. I LOVE the thrill. I LOVE her, life. But, at times, when I come up for air, I end up dizzy and confused. I know what’s written upon my heart… but which way was it that I needed to go? Which way is forward and which way is backward again? What step is the right step toward achieving my goals?
The hope? Despite the blindfold and the dizzy dance, the donkey – representative of the longings of my heart – is still there, whether I see her or not. Grasping at capital can momentarily obscure my vision. Life and her wondrous, thrilling adventure can disorient me. Yet, nothing can rob me of what lies upon my heart.
So, with the naivety of a child, I still believe and I will still try… to pin that tail on the donkey!
A quiet moment with myself: Let the dizziness clear. Realize the blindfold is a blessing in disguise. Use not the eyes of illusion to make out the way, but the inner eye of faith, wisdom and intuition.
A new mantra:
Quit trying to go back to where you were. Quit feeling handicapped, poor even. Instead, recognize the riches that course throughout my being in abundance:
Listen. *Just now, a friend from Mexico calls. Listen to your heart. She urges. Her timing startles me. I wonder at this powerful and intuitive woman. We share briefly. And we make a pact. Each day we will reserve a moment to meditate upon each other, sending one another love, encouragement and support.* Back to my personal meditation on hand.
Start with what I’ve got. Here, I list my most compelling ideas and desires. With each of these, I was waiting to share. Waiting out of fear. Fear that the ideas, without proper capital, would seem half-baked. Fear that someone with more means and resources would capitalize upon them before I could. But waiting has simply not produced results. So here I list them. As step NUMERO UNO in my determination to get back on point and work toward success. Beyond this, I don’t have any answers. I simply ask for clarity and direction.
1. The Cocoa Project (September 2008)
“Giving chocolate lovers around the world more reasons to indulge.”
Creating sustainable community with cocoa. The Mayans used cocoa beans as their currency for life. Now, we’re using chocolate as the sustenance for dignified life for families throughout Central America. Our chocolate employs, educates, and sustains citizens of developing economies, while ensuring the preservation of their natural habitats.
Giving chocolate lovers around the world more reasons to indulge. Treating yourself to chocolate now means treating families in a developing economy to a better way of life. Indulging in fine, rich chocolate from our company means you’re supporting fair wages, dignified working conditions, continued education and sustainable living for a countless number of families in Central America.
I. Help local citizens create successful and sustainable cocoa farms.
II. Support and promote these cocoa farms by purchasing their crop to create our brand of finished, chocolate confectionery through the use of a company owned processing and packaging plant.
III. Create dignified jobs for the elderly, for women and for other hard to employ citizens of Central America.
IV. Institute a sustainable, 100 percent energy self-sufficient operation that not only protects, but improves the well-being of surrounding natural environment.
V. Use the production of cocoa to support an integrated community that offers educational, health, civil and financial services to the members of that community.
VI. Develop agri-tourism and cultural exchange programs to help educate the global public about fair and sustainable cacao production and about the sustainable preservation of local cacao culture. Use these programs to also foster integration among local culture and the global market.
2. Fotos 4 Aid (December 2009)
Fine photography for the socially conscious art aficionado
Instead of creating a new aid organization that duplicates the work of others before it, our project funnels funds raised through the sales of photographs to generate donations that help further empower those organizations already in existence, re-enforcing their financial resources and means.
When a photo is purchased from Fotos 4 Aid, XX percent of the profits from that photo are donated to a specified charity. All photos are grouped in categories by charity. For example, if you purchase a photo in the Oxfam category, then XX percent of the profits from the sale of that photo will go towards the Oxfam charity fund. Fotos 4 Aid delivers donations to its featured charities XX times each year.
3. Project: Goddess (February 2010)
“A celebration of love, beauty and life. A celebration of woman.”
Manifesting the risen woman. Celebrating life means recognizing and honoring the beloved bearer of life: the woman. Through a harmonious network of boutique cafes and centers for aid, leadership, art and expression our enterprise welcomes individuals worldwide to celebrate life and unite in spirit by honoring the unique essence of woman.
4. Chroma Collective (February 2009)
“Life’s vivid viewfinder.”
An online photography collective of a highly selective group of talented, up-and-coming photographers. A photography firm of sorts.
I imagine an opening portal/interface that presents small windows (kind of like google chrome) of each particular photog’s website. One click on the small window brings you directly to that particular photog’s website (this way each member can keep their own styled website too.) A bigger main window on the opening portal would display the newest work submitted by any/all the photographers. The only criteria for what would be displayed in the flash of say 8 to 10 photos would be what were most recently added to the site. I think this is a great feature because often times as developing photogs who are also full-time students or working in other part-time or full-time jobs we can get behind on updating our own websites. But with a handful of people contributing, there would be more of a chance that there would be fresh content more regularly, which is what web cruisers want.
The website would also feature an interface for selling photos. The way I see it, we all go in on investing in the development of the site, but any revenue from photos you sell go straight to you and you have to worry about the printing/shipping. (Laura McNamara)
…facilitate projects with potent subject matter could be initiated in our separate spheres and then brought together as a holistic understanding of one topic. Such as- “Water”….for instance, means something different to equestrians than to Eskimos (remotely). I being an Eskimo (as some say) may photograph and document my understanding of water in Alaska as survival versus New England as irritating. The topics would preferably be socially and internationally relative- therefore creating a context for the concepts we explore. After a period of time, we come together, critic each other’s work, prepare a group of imagery around the topic (as it has developed~ perhaps differently than expected) and pitch it to the forces that be, i.e publishing or what you will.
Has anyone heard of “Parabola” magazine… well, don’t stick to the religious material, but think of it as an example for focusing on one topic and giving perspectives from different nationalities or cultures to give a holistic perspective to a phenomenon. (Gretjen Helene)
…a group of people with personal projects, and collaborative projects. They can do projects under demand, with the added value of a plural vision about something. Apart form these points, our group can add another one: we are from different parts of the world. I think this should have a big weight in our collective projects, and our big differentiation to other groups. (Ishac Bertan)
5. Artisan Goods (October 2009)
Open a boutique selling artisan goods from around the world. Feature specific artisans, telling their personal stories, with a portion of the proceeds going directly back to them.
6. Wham Bam Bling! (August 2010)
High-fashion jewelry for women that double as camouflaged devices to use for self-defense in the event of an attack.
7. Hunt for Humanity (October 2010)
A TV series that integrates features that highlight both travel and humanitarian efforts around the globe.
8. ArteAntigua (August 2009)
“Actively delving into La Antigua’s dynamic realm of art.”
Art is an obsession in La Antigua Guatemala. Galleries crammed with expressive and bold creations are found around every corner. Cobbled streets teem with artists painting romantic cityscapes of LAG’s quintessentially colonial architecture, inescapable volcanoes and alluring ruins. Jewelry and jade spill from storefront windows. Local artisan markets are brimming with hand-woven, rainbow-colored goods.
Amidst this profound art decadence, ArteAntigua unfuddles the befuddling and reveals the best of Antigua Guatemala’s dynamic realm of art. We delve into the constant hubbub of creation to bring you the inside scoop of LAG’s thriving art culture.